Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Scrutineering

Forgive me in advance for such a short post but free time has been very minimal these past three days. I am taking time away from sleeping right now, so I hope I don't get carried away and keep it brief.

We arrived at Texas Motorsport Ranch early on Sunday, being one of the first teams there. The facility is quite nice and I recommend that you check out their website. It is a privately owned race track for private owners to play and for professionals to practice. And given that one has to pay out at least $3600 in initiation fees, we got the chance to see some pretty incredible cars and motorcycles. The racetrack will be used for our car's qualifying (a day long endurance race to determine the pole positions for the big race) that will occur Thursday/Friday. But before we can qualify we have to get our car past scrutineering. Scrutineering is the process of the racing officials observing our cars from the ground up to ensure safety, endurance, and drivability. There are several main categories that have to get "scrutineered," and they are outlined on this site. This site also keeps updated the status of every team in terms of their progress in scrutineering. We have noticed that this website is not updated very well, so expect the data to be at least 24 hours late. Currently, UK is green in Mechanical, Electrical, and Battery Protection. Others are very soon in getting fixed, and should be finished by the end of Wednesday.

Dealing with the scrutineering process, however, has been anything but easy. We have all been working from approx. 8 in the morning till midnight every day since we arrived in order to accommodate the advice and requirements as given to us by the scrutineers. It has been terribly exhausting. But we are not alone, almost every other team has been in the same boat working frantically to get their car to meet specifications. Matters are only made worse by the mid 90 degree humid weather, working on a parking lot with very little shade. It has been an exciting experience though, as what little time spent on the car we spend talking to other teams and getting to see other solar cars.
The below cars are from FH Bochum and U of Michigan.

I have been taking plenty of photos, and I had every intention of uploading some, but the internet connection here is a bit touchy. I hope that by the next post, I'll put up some. Until then, bed is calling my name, especially since I have to wake up in 4 hours...

*Update, added photos on 7/9

4 comments:

Judy said...

Mark,

We are keeping an eye on you guys.
You can do it !!!!
From down in Florida we say---
Go Go Go

Thomas and Judy

deborah said...

outstanding stuff-what a great experience! cannot wait to hear and see more!

Kerri said...

i hear you passed (according to your facebook) - fabulous :) heart chu

don said...

Congratulations to a great team. Followed Marks super"daily" reports the whole race & enjoyed it thoroughly. We are proud of you all.

90 members of the Rupp Family